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NEW YORK — Actress Linda Thompson, the second wife of Bruce Jenner, has penned a revealing op-ed about the former couple’s marriage, and lauds Jenner’s “courage” in publicly declaring his new gender identity.

In a piece written for the Huffington Post, Thompson said of Jenner, “He can finally realize his need to be who he authentically is, who he was born to be. That takes tremendous courage. For that I commend him.”

Jenner, a former Olympic gold medalist who was more well known in recent years as being a member of the famous Kardashian family, opened up to Diane Sawyer in an interview last week about his gender identity, declaring, “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.”

In her op-ed Jenner’s second wife said she knew of his gender identity struggle.

“I have respectfully kept his secrets private and would have taken his confidences to my grave had he not spoken out,” she wrote.

Thompson went on to describe how the two first met, and revealed  much about their relationship as a married couple.

As their relationship went on, and after the birth of two sons, Thompson wrote, he came to her with a “somber” look and said, “There’s something about me that I really need to tell you, something you need to know.”

He told her about his gender dysphoria, that he’d always wanted to identify as a woman, Thompson wrote.

Thompson reveals the following of her reaction:

It’s impossible for those of us who are comfortable living in our own skin to fully grasp what an imprisonment that must feel like to be born into the wrong body. I know it’s difficult to understand, to emotionally or even intelligently wrap your head around. It was extremely difficult for me to comprehend, and adjust my life accordingly to, the realization that the man I had married — the very masculine, gorgeous, ideal, wonderful hunk of a man — would be no more.

The two went to therapy for six months before separating, she added.

Thompson also wrote in the op-ed she would not have married Jenner had she known about his gender identity concern, but in a way, she’s glad she didn’t know; she’s grateful they were able to be together and raise children for the brief time that they did.

When Jenner recently revealed to the world his new identity, Thompson said it was a relief.

“I can now breathe a little easier, knowing he now has found the strength and the courage to fulfill his dream,” she wrote.

Read her full op-ed, “How Living With and Loving Bruce Jenner Changed My Life Forever,” here.